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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 18, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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newtown's long road to >> i think out of the most tragic circumstances some good does appear. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening, more parents than usual walked with their kids as the schools of newtown reopened today. when a family met the stepped-up security there wasn't a sense of fear but a sense of moving forward together. and this was our favorite image. we were going to write something about it but then we realized it speaks well enough for itself. sandy hook elementary was the one school that did not reopen. as you know well, 20 first graders were killed there on friday along with six staff members. the gunman also killed his mother and himself. jim axelrod is in newtown where, for some, this was a new day.
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>> reporter: many here hoped to find comfort in the back-to- school routine. mike morshuk planned to meet his 16-year-old daughter. >> i'll be waiting outside the car and hopefully a few friends will come over, give them a big hug and a kiss. >> reporter: sandy hook elementary is still a crime scene. today trucks moved the desks to an empty middle school in the next town where classes will resume in january. six funerals are scheduled at st. rose of lima in the coming days. the first was for six-year-old james mattioli, remembered as old enough to spike his hair with gel, young enough to still love cuddling his mom on the couch at day's end. a few hours later, six-year-old jessica rekos was laid to rest. she loved horses and had just asked santa for a new cowgirl hat. lieutenant james perez helped with traffic. >> i looked over to my left and
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i can see an entire sea of people coming out of the first funeral then see an entirely equal amount of people waiting to get into the second funeral. >> reporter: but along with the sorrow are more stories of survival. eight-year-old luke santana was in mrs. mackenzie's third-grade class when the shooting started. >> she was crying. >> reporter: mrs. mackenzie was crying? >> yeah. >> reporter: because it must have been pretty scary. >> yeah. >> reporter: luke's teacher moved her kids to the classroom next door and this son of a police officer tried to calm his classmates. >> and their classroom and our classroom were piling up on each other and they were crying and i said it's okay, my dad is a cop. he'll help us. >> reporter: luke's father was rushing to the scene. what did you do when you saw him? >> he grabbed me, actually, and i said "oh, you're finally here,
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what took you so long?" >> reporter: there will be five more funerals here tomorrow, including one for vicki soto. she was one of the hero teachers who died trying to shield her students. luke santana had ms. soto for first grade a few years back and scott, he reports to me she was "so nice and kind." >> pelley: you have to love that boy. jim, thanks very much. figuring out why this happened is the hardest part of the investigation. justice correspondent bob orr has learned that the killer knew how to cover his tracks. >> reporter: the search for a motive is proving to be difficult. a computer and hard drive recovered from gunman adam lanza's home were smashed into so many small pieces the f.b.i. lab has been unable to retrieve any useful data. cyber experts are not optimistic. police are searching credit card e-mail, and phone records for lanza and his mother. investigators are also trying to reconstruct lanza's internet searches.
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but officials say lanza was a socially awkward recluse who had little touch with the outside world and he killed his mother nancy lanza, the one person who knew him best. law enforcement officials say over the past three years his mother bought and registered the three semiautomatic weapons lanza carried with him during his attack at the sandy hook elementary school. sources say a gun trace revealed nancy lanza bought the murder weapon, a bushmaster ar-15, in march 2010. a year later, in march, 2011, she bought a 9 millimeter sig sauer pistol. that gun was found in one of the pockets of lanza's cargo pants. the third gun, the glock 10 millimeter adam lanza used to take his own life, was purchased 11 months ago in january, 2012. lanza didn't buy any of the weapons himself but agents for the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives confirmed he and his mother did go shooting at various gun
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ranges. >> pelley: bob, thank you. teachers used their investment muscle today to strike back against the company that made the murder weapon. the gun was built by freedom group, freedom group is owned by a private investment firm called cerberus us are. today the massive california teachers pension fund said it would review its $600 million investment in cerberus, and with that cerberus us are announced it will sell off the gun manufacturer. cerberus us are said in part it is apparent that the sandy hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level. other companies today and gun rights activists reconsidered their support for weapons like the ar-15 and the kind of high capacity magazines for it that hold as many as 100 rounds at a time. here's chip reid. >> reporter: dick's sporting
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goods, one of the nation's largest gun dealers, suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles today, including the military style ar-15. but there was no word on whether the suspension would also apply to the kind of high-capacity magazines that allowed adam lanza to fire 30 rounds before reloading. >> i go hunting. i've never put more than three shells in my clip. it holds five. >> reporter: democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia is an avid hunter. his record in support of gun rights is so consistent the national rifle association has given him an "a" rating but he said newtown has changed him. >> i never thought i would ever live to see children and babies slaughtered in america. >> reporter: he's now open to the possibility of banning large magazines. after getting a call from president obama today, manchin put out a statement saying "we must work together to keep our precious children safe." in congress, three democrats with long histories as gun control advocates are taking the
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lead with proposals to ban both military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. show me how this works, how quickly can you change a magazine? >> it's out; it's in. >> reporter: but at a northern virginia gun store today, this instructor said banning large magazines like this one with 30 rounds is futile. >> he could have had ten-round magazines and changed those just as quickly before police got there and it wouldn't have made one difference in the carnage that he caused. >> reporter: he wanted to show us the 60-round magazine, scott, but he couldn't because the store has sold out its entire inventory of about 2,000 large magazines in just the past four days. he said gun owners are snapping them up because they're worried they will soon be banned. >> pelley: thanks, chip. the national rifle association said today it has ideas on how to make sure that mass killings never happened again. it said it will announce those thoughts on friday. there is at least one school
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district that welcomes firearms to class. it believes nothing makes a school safer than teachers who are armed. and we send anna werner there. >> reporter: the herald school district is one building with 103 students. it's 20 minutes away from the nearest sheriff's station so suspect david thweet created what he calls a guardian plan after the attack at virginia tech. >> these people that go in and do these horrible acts, they're evil, but they're not that crazy. they always know where they're going to get resistance. >> reporter: teachers and administrators here carry concealed handguns. they won't say how many faculty members are armed, they get extra training, but the district would not give us details. do you understand that some people are horrified when you start talking about putting guns in schools with children? >> sure, but it was a pretty horrific thing that happened the other day, you know? and quite a few people are not horrified.
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quite a few people that we have in our district bring their students to us for that protection. >> reporter: texas law allows concealed weapons in schools with the district's permission. herald was the first district to do it. a similar proposal was vetoed by michigan's governor today. who is it that you think you're going to dissuade? >> whoever comes in to try to hurt our kids. i mean, that's the bottom line. >> reporter: since newtown, the superintendent has gotten calls from districts all around texas and as far away as missouri have school administrators asking about similar plans for their district. >> pelley: anna werner, thank you very much. the so-called fiscal cliff is now just two weeks away. that's the day that tax hikes for most americans and huge across-the-board spending cuts in the federal budget will kick in unless a budget deal is reached. well, today house speaker john boehner rolled out what he calls
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plan "b" in case that he and the president can't strike a deal. the nancy cordes is at the capitol for us tonight. nancy? >> reporter: scott, this is speaker boehner acknowledging that they are running out of time. so he's calling a vote on a plan later this week that he know it is white house won't like in the hopes they'll make big concessions in talks now to avoid it. >> our plan "b" would protect american taxpayers. >> reporter: speaker boehner said he'll take his plan directly to the house floor with a bill to extend the low bush- era tax rates for all americans making less than one million dollars a year. that's far higher than the $400 income cutoff the president is currently proposing. higher still than president obama's campaign promise-- to let taxes rise on households making $250,000 or more. boehner said he has to bypass talks with the white house and hold a vote on his plan now because the president's latest
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fiscal cliff proposal still isn't balanced between taxes and cuts. what is your definition of a balanced deal? does it have to be dollar for dollar spending cuts? >> most people would agree that that's balanced. >> can it just be close to that or does it have to be exactly equal? >> we do not have a balanced plan when the president is calling for $1.3 trillion in revenue and only willing to put $850 billion worth of cuts over ten years. >> reporter: democrats call boehner's plan "b" a farce, that undermines delicate negotiations. senate leader harry reid. >> it can't pass the senate and it doesn't do anything. >> reporter: the president's latest proposal yesterday dropped an extension of the payroll tax cut and so even if most working americans don't see an increase in their tax rates next year, scott, they could still see an increase in their tax bill of about a thousand dollars for the average worker.
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>> pelley: thank you, nancy. emergency workers who responded to the shooting at sandy hook tell us their stories. >> the police that were in there were calling for as many ambulances as possible. >> pelley: and mud slide meets freight train when the "cbs evening news" continues. if you have high blood pressure and get a cold
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shot at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, the teacher natalie hammond, returned home today, she's recovering well. elaine quijano talked today to some of the emergency workers who were among the first at the school on friday morning. >> the police that were in there were calling for as many ambulances as possible. >> reporter: assistant fire chief ray corbo and firefighter rob manna got the dispatch call just after 9:30. >> like with any call you develop an image in your head on the way to your scene to prepare yourself for what you may be coming into. certainly wound up to be much more than what i developed in my mind. >> there was nobody to treat. one or two early on and then our unit we were expecting to get multiple victims. never. we didn't get any. >> reporter: can you talk about what you felt when you saw what you saw? >> what seemed to bother me the
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most was the parents down at the staging area. >> reporter: what about them? >> they were showing up faster than law enforcement, really. they were coming from all directions. panicked-- as the children were coming down they were looking to claim their child and as they would get their child they would leave and i knew there were a certain amount of kids inside there that weren't going to be coming out on their own power and those were the parents. they were waiting. they never came. >> reporter: you're a parent of a seven-year-old. >> correct. >> reporter: how did that affect you? >> it could have been my son. same grade. we lived in that district just two years ago. >> reporter: have you told him about what happened? >> he's seven years old. he doesn't need to know this. >> reporter: what do you want to say to all the families?
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>> i don't have any words. i don't know, i'm sorry. i'm sorry that we couldn't help one. >> pelley: elaine quijano with newtown assistant fire chief ray corbo and firefighter rob manna. a major storm system is headed east after slamming the pacific northwest. heavy rain near everett, washington, triggered a mud slide on a 100-foot cliff. look what happened next! as the mud slammed into seven cars of a passing freight train pushing them all the rails. nbc news correspondent richard engel is free from his captors in syria. we'll have that story next. 'll have that story next. with . the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left.
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[ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. >> pelley: nbc news correspondent richard engel who was taken captive along with his crew in syria this week is free. when their captors tried to move them yesterday they were stopped
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at a checkpoint run by rebels fighting the assad dictatorship. there was a gun fight, two captors were killed, engel and his crew got away. defense secretary leon panetta paid tribute today to all journalists who risk their lives in pursuit of the truth, including our own cami mccormick. she was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb three years ago while covering the war in afghanistan. cami returned to afghanistan last week with secretary panetta. >> it was truly an emotional experience to be with her as she returned back to afghanistan for the first time after that injury. she put her own life at risk in order to tell the story of that war. and in her and so many other war correspondents we see the highest ideals of democracy upheld. >> pelley: defense secretary leon panetta. if there is one place on earth that know it is pain of newtown, connecticut, it is this one, and we will take you there next.
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could've had a v8. a lot of folks wonder how newtown, connecticut, can ever recover. the search for that answer took elizabeth palmer to dunblane, scotland. >> reporter: dunblane was a quiet little town nestled in forested hills until calamity struck. on march 13, 1996, panicked parents rushed to the dunblane primary school, where 43-year-old thomas hamilton had opened fire in the gym. sixteen 5- and 6-year-olds and their teacher were dead. sixteen more were injured, including matthew birnie, shot in the chest. more than a decade later, his father steve heads the dunblane community center, built with money donated to the town after the shooting. on the windows, there's a motif for each child killed.
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the victims and their families found deep love and support in dunblane, but in the end steve birnie found that grief is a long and private journey. >> i think we all grieve in different ways and at different times and to not necessarily assume that people are over it because, for some people, it will take an awfully, awfully long time and the slightest thing can reopen the wounds and the hurts. >> reporter: some of the anger and the resentment here was channeled into an ant-igun lobby which did eventually win an almost blanket ban on the private ownership of handguns in the uk. and then this summer, the community turned another corner. andy murray, tennis champion, who in 1996 survived the dunblane massacre by hiding under a desk, won gold at the london olympics. for dunblane, at last there was a joyful legacy to balance its
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terrible stigma. but as soon as the news of the sandy hook school shootings broke, old wounds reopened. >> obviously, our hearts go out to them. [ pause ] >> sorry. i'm not really giving them the best advert for someone who's moved on. but i think out of the most tragic circumstances, some good does appear. and hopefully that will happen for them. >> reporter: at the dunblane community center, they're lighting candles of condolence and sending sympathy from one of the only places in the world that really understands the depth of newtown's grief. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, dunblane. >> and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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breaking news out of san jo. right now the san jose city is on lockdown good evening, i'm elizabeth cook. >> i'm ken bastida. we have breaking news out of san jose. the san jose city college campus is on lockdown after unconfirmed reports of a gunman on campus. these are pictures from chopper 5 over the school now. campus police say the school has been locked down since 4:30 this afternoon. someone had record a person with a gun on -- reported a person with a gun on campus. people were ordered to close and lock doors and stay in. campus police say they are doing a room-by-room search of san jose city college but they have not confirmed that there ever is or was a gunman.
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they wouldn't confir it. earlier a professor said there are classes in the library with hundreds of people. we are keeping an eye on this. roads are shut down at bascomb and moorpark avenues around san jose city college and that's the situation right now. and we are keeping an eye on it and we'll report if we have any updates for you. the tragedy in newtown, connecticut is spurring a national push for tighter gun chrome. it's also shedsing light on how easy it is to obtain assault weapons or even build your own. as joe vazquez tells us you don't have to leave home. >> reporter: we have heard a lot of talk about new laws banning assault weapons. some gun control advocates say that's just the beginning of the debates. >> these recent shootings have opened people eyes to some of the terrible devices that are available. >> reporter: ben of the san francisco-based law center to


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